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St Ignatius of Loyola is at the forefront of our minds this week as we prepare to celebrate his feast day on 31 July. However, our celebration here at school will need to wait until Monday 1 August. This is a wonderful day on our calendar where we are able to come together as a whole school to celebrate and reflect on where we have come from and where we are heading.

Ignatius is known for many things and among them is helping us to find God in all things, and the importance of reflection, discernment and being open to the Spirit. So as we celebrate our Patronal Feast Day I invite you to take a moment to pray the examen prayer below.

Find a quiet place; settle and calm yourself and spend a few minutes with each step.

1.Place yourself in the presence of God. Give thanks for God’s great love for you.

For many of us, we have a good sense in our heads that God loves us, but when was the last time you experienced that in your heart? The practice of allowing ourselves to be loved and to revel in being beloved is its own gift in prayer. Begin here.

2. Pray for the grace to understand how God is acting in your life.

Sometimes the hand of God is evident in the day-to-day of your vocation, but not always. Particularly if you find yourself in a time of confusion or frustration, asking for the grace to see God’s action in our lives can provide much solace.

3. Review your day—recall specific moments and your feelings at the time.

What were 1 or 2 joyful moments in your day? What moments/opportunities do you now understand could have gone differently? How did each make you feel?

4. Reflect on what you did, said, or thought in those instances. Were you drawing closer to God, or further away?

Focusing on the way you experienced the interaction is a big part of discernment. Asking ourselves whether our response moved us nearer or further from God is a helpful way to navigate moving forward and how God is calling us to act.

5. Look toward tomorrow—think of how you might collaborate more effectively with God’s plan. Be specific, and conclude with the “Our Father.”

Notice your awareness of God in your day, today. In the circumstances that are coming in the day ahead, what are a couple of concrete ways that you can already commit to that might provide greater opportunity for collaboration in God’s plan? Finally, close in prayer.

Happy Feast Day

Jacquie McCabe
Head of Ignatian Ethos

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